With the help of club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton, we look at Chelsea's past home encounters with Czech sides...
We Have History
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven matches against Czech clubs, while Slavia have won only once in 10 competitive meetings with English sides. The two teams met for the first time in the opening leg of this quarter-final, with Chelsea winning 1-0 thanks to a late Marcos Alonso header.
Tonight the Red-and-Whites become the third Prague side to play at Stamford Bridge, following in the footsteps of Viktoria Zizkov and main rivals Sparta. The latter were the first visitors in March 1957 for an illuminated friendly won 2-0 by the hosts in front of 30,708 spectators.
In September 1994, Zizkov became the Blues’ first competitive opponents in Europe since Atvidaberg in November 1972, both in the Cup Winners’ Cup. With the old Shed End removed, supporters at the south end occupied a roofless temporary stand and the rain poured down relentlessly.
The Londoners stormed into a 2-0 lead thanks to then-record-signing Paul Furlong (who also hit the woodwork twice) and homegrown Frank Sinclair, but the visitors hit back twice before the break through Jozef Majoros. David Rocastle, with a stylish chip, and Dennis Wise’s left-foot stunner produced a 4-2 scoreline.
Next up, Sparta’s visits were 10 years apart and in different competitions but both ended in draws. In November 2003 Zizkov’s former coach Jiri Kotrba returned to London with his new side in an uneventful Champions League group stage game. The Blues had a goal dubiously ruled out for offside and 0-0 was the final score.
Sparta’s Europa League visit was in February 2013 when European champions Chelsea were still recovering from the embarrassment of losing out on qualification for the Champions League knockout phase. The Blues had won the first leg 1-0 in Prague a week earlier and were surprised by the visitors’ early goal from David Lafata.
A host of chances were squandered before Eden Hazard’s injury time intervention prevented an extra half-hour. The Belgian weaved forward into the box before unleashing an unstoppable left-foot drive to seal his side’s aggregate victory. Chelsea progressed to win the final against Benfica in Amsterdam.
Winger Frank Blunstone, a 1954/55 league title-winner, received a £5,000 testimonial cheque ahead of his last appearance for the Blues at home to Everton on 18 April 1964. He won the penalty that led to the only goal of the game for Bert Murray, thus earning a £4 win bonus.
SLAVIA PRAGUE 0 CHELSEA 1
Europa League quarter-final, first leg, Eden Arena, 11.04.19, 8pm
Slavia Prague (4-3-1-2) Kolar; Coufal, Ngadeu, Deli (c), Boril; Sevcik, Kral, Traore; Stoch (Zmrhal 63); Masopust (Husbauer 74), Olayinka (Van Buren 81).
Unused subs Kovar, Frydrych, Kudela, Skoda
Head coach Jindrich Trpisovsky
Booked Coufal 82
Chelsea (4-3-3) Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta (c), Rüdiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic (Kanté 68), Jorginho, Barkley (Loftus-Cheek 75); Pedro (Hazard 59), Giroud, Willian.
Unused subs Caballero, Zappacosta, David Luiz, Higuain.
Head coach Maurizio Sarri
Scorer Alonso 86
Referee Felix Zwayer (Germany)
Chelsea’s biggest home win in Europe
29/09/1971 Chelsea 13-0 Jeunesse Hautcharage Cup Winners’ Cup 1st rd 2nd leg
Slavia's biggest away win in Europe
23/08/1994 Cork City 0-4 Slavia Prague UEFA Cup prel round 2nd leg